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Bangladesh :: South Asia



The huge delta region formed at the confluence of the Ganges and Brahmaputra River systems - now referred to as Bangladesh - was a loosely incorporated outpost of various empires centered on the Gangetic plain for much of the first millennium A.D. Muslim conversions and settlement in the region began in the 10th century, primarily from Arab and Persian traders and preachers. Europeans established trading posts in the area in the 16th century. Eventually the area known as Bengal, primarily Hindu in the western section and mostly Muslim in the eastern half, became part of British India. Partition in 1947 resulted in an eastern wing of Pakistan in the Muslim-majority area, which became East Pakistan. Calls for greater autonomy and animosity between the eastern and western wings of Pakistan led to a Bengali independence movement. That movement, led by the Awami League (AL) and supported by India, won the independence war for Bangladesh in 1971. ++ The post-independence AL government faced daunting challenges and in 1975 it was overthrown by the military, triggering a series of military coups that resulted in a military-backed government and subsequent creation of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) in 1978. That government also ended in a coup in 1981, followed by military-backed rule until democratic elections occurred in 1991. The BNP and AL have alternated in power since 1991, with the exception of a military-backed, emergency caretaker regime that suspended parliamentary elections planned for January 2007 in an effort to reform the political system and root out corruption. That government returned the country to fully democratic rule in December 2008 with the election of the AL and Prime Minister Sheikh HASINA. In January 2014, the incumbent AL won the national election by an overwhelming majority after the BNP boycotted the election, which extended HASINA's term as prime minister. In December 2018, HASINA secured a third consecutive term (fourth overall) with the AL coalition securing 96% of available seats, amid widespread claims of election irregularities. With the help of international development assistance, Bangladesh has reduced the poverty rate from over half of the population to less than a third, achieved Millennium Development Goals for maternal and child health, and made great progress in food security since independence. The economy has grown at an annual average of about 6% for the last two decades and the country reached World Bank lower-middle income status in 2014.



Southern Asia, bordering the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and India

Geographic coordinates:

24 00 N, 90 00 E

Map references:



total: 148,460 sq km
land: 130,170 sq km
water: 18,290 sq km
country comparison to the world: 94

Area - comparative:

slightly larger than Pennsylvania and New Jersey combined; slightly smaller than Iowa

Land boundaries:

total: 4,413 km
border countries (2): Burma 271 km, India 4142 km


580 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
contiguous zone: 18 nm
continental shelf: to the outer limits of the continental margin


tropical; mild winter (October to March); hot, humid summer (March to June); humid, warm rainy monsoon (June to October)


mostly flat alluvial plain; hilly in southeast


mean elevation: 85 m
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Keokradong 1,230 m

Natural resources:

natural gas, arable land, timber, coal

Land use:

agricultural land: 70.1% (2016 est.)
arable land: 59% (2016 est.) / permanent crops: 6.5% (2016 est.) / permanent pasture: 4.6% (2016 est.)
forest: 11.1% (2016 est.)
other: 18.8% (2016 est.)

Irrigated land:

53,000 sq km (2012)

Natural hazards:

droughts; cyclones; much of the country routinely inundated during the summer monsoon season

Environment - current issues:

many people are landless and forced to live on and cultivate flood-prone land; waterborne diseases prevalent in surface water; water pollution, especially of fishing areas, results from the use of commercial pesticides; ground water contaminated by naturally occurring arsenic; intermittent water shortages because of falling water tables in the northern and central parts of the country; soil degradation and erosion; deforestation; destruction of wetlands; severe overpopulation with noise pollution

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

most of the country is situated on deltas of large rivers flowing from the Himalayas: the Ganges unites with the Jamuna (main channel of the Brahmaputra) and later joins the Meghna to eventually empty into the Bay of Bengal

People and Society


162,650,853 (July 2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 8


noun: Bangladeshi(s)
adjective: Bangladeshi

Ethnic groups:

Bengali at least 98%, other indigenous ethnic groups 1.1% (2011 est.)
note: Bangladesh's government recognizes 27 indigenous ethnic groups under the 2010 Cultural Institution for Small Anthropological Groups Act; other sources estimate there are about 75 ethnic groups; critics of the 2011 census claim that it underestimates the size of Bangladesh's ethnic population


Bangla 98.8% (official, also known as Bengali), other 1.2% (2011 est.)


Muslim 89.1%, Hindu 10%, other 0.9% (includes Buddhist, Christian) (2013 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 26.48% (male 21,918,651/female 21,158,574)
15-24 years: 18.56% (male 15,186,470/female 15,001,950)
25-54 years: 40.72% (male 31,694,267/female 34,535,643)
55-64 years: 7.41% (male 5,941,825/female 6,115,856)
65 years and over: 6.82% (male 5,218,206/female 5,879,411) (2020 est.)

Dependency ratios:

total dependency ratio: 47
youth dependency ratio: 39.3
elderly dependency ratio: 7.7
potential support ratio: 13 (2020 est.)

Median age:

total: 27.9 years
male: 27.1 years
female: 28.6 years (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 143

Population growth rate:

0.98% (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 105

Birth rate:

18.1 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 87

Death rate:

5.5 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 181

Net migration rate:

-3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 174


urban population: 38.2% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 3.17% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Major urban areas - population:

21.006 million DHAKA (capital), 5.020 million Chittagong, 954,000 Khulna, 908,000 Rajshahi, 852,000 Sylhet (2020)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth:

18.5 years (2014 est.)
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

Maternal mortality rate:

173 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53

Infant mortality rate:

total: 28.3 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 30.6 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 26 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 59

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 74.2 years
male: 72 years
female: 76.5 years (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 133

Total fertility rate:

2.11 children born/woman (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 97

Contraceptive prevalence rate:

62.3% (2014)

Drinking water source:

improved: urban: 98.9% of population
rural: 98.4% of population
total: 98.6% of population
unimproved: urban: 1.1% of population
rural: 1.6% of population
total: 1.4% of population (2017 est.)

Current Health Expenditure:

2.3% (2017)

Physicians density:

0.54 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Hospital bed density:

0.8 beds/1,000 population (2016)

Sanitation facility access:

improved: urban: 82.5% of population
rural: 64.4% of population
total: 70.9% of population
unimproved: urban: 17.5% of population
rural: 35.6% of population
total: 29.1% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

<.1% (2018 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

14,000 (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 90

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

<1000 (2018 est.)

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: high (2020)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria are high risks in some locations
water contact diseases: leptospirosis
animal contact diseases: rabies
note: widespread ongoing transmission of a respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is occurring throughout Bangladesh; as of 8 December 2020, Bangladesh has reported a total of 475,879 cases of COVID-19 or 2,890 cumulative cases of COVID-19 per 1 million population with 41 cumulative deaths per 1 million population

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:

3.6% (2016)
country comparison to the world: 191

Children under the age of 5 years underweight:

21.9% (2017/18)
country comparison to the world: 17

Education expenditures:

1.3% of GDP (2019)
country comparison to the world: 169


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 73.9%
male: 76.7%
female: 71.2% (2018)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 12 years
male: 12 years
female: 12 years (2018)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:

total: 12.8%
male: 10.8%
female: 16.8% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 107


Country name:

conventional long form: People's Republic of Bangladesh
conventional short form: Bangladesh
local long form: Gana Prajatantri Bangladesh
local short form: Bangladesh
former: East Bengal, East Pakistan
etymology: the name - a compound of the Bengali words "Bangla" (Bengal) and "desh" (country) - means "Country of Bengal"

Government type:

parliamentary republic


name: Dhaka
geographic coordinates: 23 43 N, 90 24 E
time difference: UTC+6 (11 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology: the origins of the name are unclear, but some sources state that the city's site was originally called "dhakka," meaning "watchtower," and that the area served as a watch-station for Bengal rulers

Administrative divisions:

8 divisions; Barishal, Chattogram, Dhaka, Khulna, Mymensingh, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Sylhet


16 December 1971 (from Pakistan)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 26 March (1971); Victory Day, 16 December (1971); note - 26 March 1971 is the date of the Awami League's declaration of an independent Bangladesh, and 16 December (Victory Day) memorializes the military victory over Pakistan and the official creation of the state of Bangladesh


history: previous 1935, 1956, 1962 (preindependence); latest enacted 4 November 1972, effective 16 December 1972, suspended March 1982, restored November 1986
amendments: proposed by the House of the Nation; approval requires at least two-thirds majority vote of the House membership and assent of the president of the republic; amended many times, last in 2018

Legal system:

mixed legal system of mostly English common law and Islamic law

International law organization participation:

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Bangladesh
dual citizenship recognized: yes, but limited to select countries
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Abdul HAMID (since 24 April 2013); note - Abdul HAMID served as acting president following the death of Zillur RAHMAN in March 2013; HAMID was subsequently indirectly elected by the National Parliament and sworn in 24 April 2013
head of government: Prime Minister Sheikh HASINA (since 6 January 2009)
cabinet: Cabinet selected by the prime minister, appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the National Parliament for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 7 February 2018 (next to be held by 2023); the president appoints as prime minister the majority party leader in the National Parliament
election results: President Abdul HAMID (AL) reelected by the National Parliament unopposed for a second term; Sheikh HASINA reappointed prime minister as leader of the majority AL party following parliamentary elections in 2018

Legislative branch:

description: unicameral House of the Nation or Jatiya Sangsad (350 seats; 300 members in single-seat territorial constituencies directly elected by simple majority popular vote; 50 members - reserved for women only - indirectly elected by the elected members by proportional representation vote using single transferable vote; all members serve 5-year terms)
elections: last held on 30 December 2018 (next to be held in 2023)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party as of January 2020 - AL 299, JP 27, BNP 7, other 10, independent 4, vacant 3; composition - men 274, women 73, percent of women 21%

Judicial branch:

highest courts: Supreme Court of Bangladesh (organized into the Appellate Division with 7 justices and the High Court Division with 99 justices)
judge selection and term of office: chief justice and justices appointed by the president; justices serve until retirement at age 67
subordinate courts: civil courts include: Assistant Judge's Court; Joint District Judge's Court; Additional District Judge's Court; District Judge's Court; criminal courts include: Court of Sessions; Court of Metropolitan Sessions; Metropolitan Magistrate Courts; Magistrate Court; special courts/tribunals

Political parties and leaders:

Awami League or AL [Sheikh HASINA] ++ Bangladesh Nationalist Front or BNF [Abdul Kalam AZADI] ++ Bangladesh Nationalist Party or BNP [Khaleda ZIA] ++ Bangladesh Tariqat Federation or BTF [Syed Nozibul Bashar MAIZBHANDARI] ++ Jamaat-i-Islami Bangladesh or JIB (Makbul AHMAD) ++ Jatiya Party or JP (Ershad faction) [Hussain Mohammad ERSHAD] ++ Jatiya Party or JP (Manju faction) [Anwar Hossain MANJU] ++ Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Oli AHMED] ++ National Socialist Party or JSD [KHALEQUZZAMAN] ++ Workers Party or WP [Rashed Khan MENON]

International organization participation:


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Mohammad ZIAUDDIN (since 18 September 2014)
chancery: 3510 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 244-0183
FAX: [1] (202) 244-2771
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Earl Robert MILLER (since 29 November 2018)
telephone: [880] (2) 5566-2000
embassy: Madani Avenue, Baridhara, Dhaka 1212
mailing address: G. P. O. Box 323, Dhaka 1000
FAX: [880] (2) 5566-2915

Flag description:

green field with a large red disk shifted slightly to the hoist side of center; the red disk represents the rising sun and the sacrifice to achieve independence; the green field symbolizes the lush vegetation of Bangladesh

National symbol(s):

Bengal tiger, water lily; national colors: green, red

National anthem:

name: "Amar Shonar Bangla" (My Golden Bengal)
lyrics/music: Rabindranath TAGORE
note: adopted 1971; Rabindranath TAGORE, a Nobel laureate, also wrote India's national anthem


Economic overview:

Bangladesh's economy has grown roughly 6% per year since 2005 despite prolonged periods of political instability, poor infrastructure, endemic corruption, insufficient power supplies, and slow implementation of economic reforms. Although more than half of GDP is generated through the services sector, almost half of Bangladeshis are employed in the agriculture sector, with rice as the single-most-important product. ++ ++ Garments, the backbone of Bangladesh's industrial sector, accounted for more than 80% of total exports in FY 2016-17. The industrial sector continues to grow, despite the need for improvements in factory safety conditions. Steady export growth in the garment sector, combined with $13 billion in remittances from overseas Bangladeshis, contributed to Bangladesh's rising foreign exchange reserves in FY 2016-17. Recent improvements to energy infrastructure, including the start of liquefied natural gas imports in 2018, represent a major step forward in resolving a key growth bottleneck.

GDP real growth rate:

7.4% (2017 est.)
7.2% (2016 est.)
6.8% (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 12

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

5.5% (2019 est.)
5.5% (2018 est.)
5.6% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 188

Credit ratings:

Fitch rating: BB- (2014)
Moody's rating: Ba3 (2012)
Standard & Poors rating: BB- (2010)

GDP (purchasing power parity) - real:

$655.623 billion (2019 est.)
$606.201 billion (2018 est.)
$562.006 billion (2017 est.)
note: data are in 2010 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$329.545 billion (2020 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$1,281 (2019 est.)
$1,197 (2018 est.)
$1,121 (2017 est.)
note: data are in 2010 dollars
country comparison to the world: 207

Gross national saving:

30.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
30.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
30.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 30

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:

agriculture: 14.2% (2017 est.)
industry: 29.3% (2017 est.)
services: 56.5% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use:

household consumption: 68.7% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 6% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 30.5% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 1% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 15% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -20.3% (2017 est.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores:

45.0 (2020)

Agriculture - products:

rice, jute, tea, wheat, sugarcane, potatoes, tobacco, pulses, oilseeds, spices, fruit; beef, milk, poultry


jute, cotton, garments, paper, leather, fertilizer, iron and steel, cement, petroleum products, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, ceramics, tea, salt, sugar, edible oils, soap and detergent, fabricated metal products, electricity, natural gas

Industrial production growth rate:

10.2% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15

Labor force:

66.64 million (2017 est.)
note: extensive migration of labor to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Oman, Qatar, and Malaysia
country comparison to the world: 6

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 42.7%
industry: 20.5%
services: 36.9% (2016 est.)

Unemployment rate:

4.4% (2017 est.)
4.4% (2016 est.)
note: about 40% of the population is underemployed; many persons counted as employed work only a few hours a week and at low wages
country comparison to the world: 65

Population below poverty line:

24.3% (2016 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 4%
highest 10%: 27% (2010 est.)


revenues: 25.1 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 33.5 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:

9.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 214

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):

-3.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 137

Public debt:

33.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
33.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 159

Fiscal year:

1 July - 30 June

Current account balance:

-$5.322 billion (2017 est.)
$1.391 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 185


$33.057 billion (2019 est.)
$29.798 billion (2018 est.)
$27.568 billion (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68

Exports - partners:

Germany 12.9%, US 12.2%, UK 8.7%, Spain 5.3%, France 5.1%, Italy 4.1% (2017)

Exports - commodities:

garments, knitwear, agricultural products, frozen food (fish and seafood), jute and jute goods, leather


$44.801 billion (2019 est.)
$45.725 billion (2018 est.)
$36.001 billion (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64

Imports - commodities:

cotton, machinery and equipment, chemicals, iron and steel, foodstuffs

Imports - partners:

China 21.9%, India 15.3%, Singapore 5.7% (2017)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$33.42 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$32.28 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 49

Debt - external:

$50.26 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$41.85 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66

Exchange rates:

taka (BDT) per US dollar -
84.75 (2020 est.)
85 (2019 est.)
83.715 (2018 est.)
77.947 (2014 est.)
77.614 (2013 est.)


Electricity access:

population without electricity: 28 million (2019)
electrification - total population: 83% (2019)
electrification - urban areas: 93% (2019)
electrification - rural areas: 77% (2019)

Electricity - production:

60.51 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 49

Electricity - consumption:

53.65 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 103

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124

Electricity - installed generating capacity:

11.9 million kW (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 56

Electricity - from fossil fuels:

97% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:

0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 45

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:

2% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136

Electricity - from other renewable sources:

2% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134

Crude oil - production:

3,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83

Crude oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 91

Crude oil - imports:

21,860 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 63

Crude oil - proved reserves:

28 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 81

Refined petroleum products - production:

26,280 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86

Refined petroleum products - consumption:

106,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 77

Refined petroleum products - exports:

901 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 108

Refined petroleum products - imports:

81,570 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 63

Natural gas - production:

29.53 billion cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 27

Natural gas - consumption:

29.53 billion cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 65

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89

Natural gas - proved reserves:

185.8 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 44

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:

79.97 million Mt (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48


Telephones - fixed lines:

total subscriptions: 1,433,460
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 67

Telephones - mobile cellular:

total subscriptions: 163,559,380
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 101.55 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 11

Telecommunication systems:

general assessment: slow to moderate growth in mobile subscriber rate; regulator's recent budget allowance and telecoms investment in LTE infrastructure is leading the way to the migration of 5G; fixed broadband penetration in Bangladesh remains very low mainly due to the dominance of the mobile platform (2020)
domestic: fixed-line teledensity remains less than 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular telephone subscribership has been increasing rapidly and now exceeds 101 telephones per 100 persons; mobile subscriber growth is anticipated over the next five years to 2023; strong local competition (2019)
international: country code - 880; landing points for the SeaMeWe-4 and SeaMeWe-5 fiber-optic submarine cable system that provides links to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia; satellite earth stations - 6; international radiotelephone communications and landline service to neighboring countries (2019)
note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated

Broadcast media:

state-owned Bangladesh Television (BTV) broadcasts throughout the country. Some channels, such as BTV World, operate via satellite. The government also owns a medium wave radio channel and some private FM radio broadcast news channels. Of the 41 Bangladesh approved TV stations, 26 are currently being used to broadcast. Of those, 23 operate under private management via cable distribution. Collectively, TV channels can reach more than 50 million people across the country.

Internet country code:


Internet users:

total: 23,917,950
percent of population: 15% (July 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32

Broadband - fixed subscriptions:

total: 10,237,003
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 6 (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 17


National air transport system:

number of registered air carriers: 6 (2020)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 30
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 5,984,155 (2018)
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 63.82 million mt-km (2018)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:

S2 (2016)


18 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 137

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 16 (2017)
over 3,047 m: 2 (2017)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6 (2017)
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2017)
under 914 m: 5 (2017)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 2 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
under 914 m: 1 (2013)


3 (2013)


2950 km gas (2013)


total: 2,460 km (2014)
narrow gauge: 1,801 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)
broad gauge: 659 km 1.676-m gauge (2014)
country comparison to the world: 68


total: 369,105 km (2018)
paved: 110,311 km (2018)
unpaved: 258,794 km (2018)
country comparison to the world: 20


8,370 km (includes up to 3,060 km of main cargo routes; network reduced to 5,200 km in the dry season) (2011)
country comparison to the world: 16

Merchant marine:

total: 376
by type: bulk carrier 36, container ship 5, general cargo 97, oil tanker 136, other 102 (2019)
country comparison to the world: 47

Ports and terminals:

major seaport(s): Chittagong
container port(s) (TEUs): Chittagong (2,566,597) (2017)
river port(s): Mongla Port (Sela River)

Military and Security

Military and security forces:

Bangladesh Defense Force: Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Air Force; Ministry of Home Affairs: Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), Bangladesh Coast Guard, Ansars, Village Defense Party (VDP) (2019)
note: the Ansars and VDP are paramilitary organizations for internal security

Military expenditures:

1.3% of GDP (2019)
1.3% of GDP (2018)
1.2% of GDP (2017)
1.4% of GDP (2016)
1.4% of GDP (2015)
country comparison to the world: 92

Military and security service personnel strengths:

estimates of the size of the Bangladesh Defense Force vary; approximately 165,000 total active personnel (135,000 Army; 16,000 Navy; 14,000 Air Force); 38,000 Border Guards (2019 est.)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions:

the Bangladesh Defense Force inventory is comprised of mostly Chinese and Russian equipment; since 2010, China and Russia are the chief suppliers of arms to Bangladesh; Bangladesh is currently undertaking a significant defense modernization program, with a focus on naval acquisitions (2019)

Military deployments:

1,300 Central African Republic (MINUSCA); 1,650 Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO); 115 Lebanon (UNIFIL); 1,300 Mali (MINUSMA); 1,600 South Sudan (UNMISS) (2020)

Military service age and obligation:

16-21 years of age for voluntary military service; Bangladeshi nationality and 10th grade education required; officers: 17-21 years of age, Bangladeshi nationality, and 12th grade education required (2018)

Maritime threats:

the International Maritime Bureau reports the territorial waters of Bangladesh remain a risk for armed robbery against ships; in 2018, the number of attacks against commercial vessels increased to 12 over the 11 such incidents in 2017


Terrorist group(s):

Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami/Bangladesh; Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham in Bangladesh; al-Qa'ida; al-Qa'ida in the Indian Subcontinent (2020)
note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:

Bangladesh referred its maritime boundary claims with Burma and India to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea; Indian Prime Minister Singh's September 2011 visit to Bangladesh resulted in the signing of a Protocol to the 1974 Land Boundary Agreement between India and Bangladesh, which had called for the settlement of longstanding boundary disputes over undemarcated areas and the exchange of territorial enclaves, but which had never been implemented; Bangladesh struggles to accommodate 912,000 Rohingya, Burmese Muslim minority from Rakhine State, living as refugees in Cox's Bazar; Burmese border authorities are constructing a 200 km (124 mi) wire fence designed to deter illegal cross-border transit and tensions from the military build-up along border

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 861,545 (Burma) (2020) (includes an estimated 712,152 Rohingya refugees who have fled conflict since 25 August 2017)
IDPs: 427,000 (conflict, development, human rights violations, religious persecution, natural disasters) (2019)

Illicit drugs:

transit country for illegal drugs produced in neighboring countries